Cathy Reese’s Journey to the Hall of Fame

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Cathy Reese’s Journey to the Hall of Fame

How the Fiercely Competitive Cathy Reese Attacks Every Day

Nine lacrosse legends — Ryan Boyle, Charlie Coker, Kara Ariza Cooke, Rachael Becker DeCecco, Sarah Forbes, Cathy Reese, Paul Schimoler, Richard Speckmann and Matt Striebel — will be inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Oct. 19 at The Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, Md. These are their stories.

No one, least of all a young Cathy Nelson, could have foreseen the future Cathy  Nelson Reese accomplishing so much in the game of lacrosse as a player and coach that, at age 42, she would be selected for the sport’s highest honor.

But looking back, in some cases way back, those who have long known the current and hugely successful face of Maryland women’s lacrosse saw qualities in Reese that define a winner, exceptional leader and ultimately a National Lacrosse Hall of Famer.

Rob Sites, a cousin who grew up with Reese near Mount Hebron High School in Howard County, Md. — where her lacrosse talent would blossom with the three-time (1992-94) state-champion Vikings — recalled her fiercely competitive streak, even in grade school. It extended to such fun family events as an annual Easter egg hunt, where Reese did not hide her anger if she lost.

“She’s the same way when we play family board games or cards,” says Brian Reese, Cathy’s husband and the father of their four children (Riley, 15; Brody, 12; Keegan, 10; Braxton, 8). “Let the kids win? Nope. She doesn’t take it easy on them. She’s never taken it easy on me. She makes everything a competition.

“But thank God for her. She’s organized, she’s prepared, way more than I am,” he adds. “Every day Cathy wakes up, she just attacks the day, like it’s the most important day of her career.”

Gary Lambrecht
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Reese, a former, two-time All-American attacker at Maryland, recently led the school to its fifth NCAA title during her 13-year head coaching run in College Park, where she also had an impactful hand as a Maryland attacker on four national championship teams (1995-98).

Reese already has won more games (272) in College Park than any coach in program history, while losing only 22 times. Last spring, she passed the legendary Cindy Timchal, whom Reese played for, coached under for five seasons then replaced at Maryland.

Timchal, an eight-time champ at Maryland, left in 2007 to launch the varsity program at Navy, where she continues as the sport’s career victories leader.

For the fourth time, Reese has been named IWLCA Coach of the Year. As a player and assistant and head coach at Maryland, she has played a part in 12 of the school’s 15 national titles. She has guided the Terps to 10 consecutive final fours and has led Maryland to four NCAA crowns over the past six seasons.

“I enjoyed the game right off the bat — the speed of it, the skills it required, the challenge to learn it and be creative,” recalls Reese, who had played plenty of soccer, basketball and softball by the time she first held a lacrosse stick as a seventh grader at McDonogh School.

It was quickly clear which game would bring out the best in her. By the time Reese landed at Mount Hebron in 1990, the high school program led by then-Hebron guidance counselor and head coach P.J. Kesmodel — he also had launched the county’s Hero’s summer league in the late 1970s and eventually led its elite girls’ club team — was about to take off.


What a competitor. One of her goals was to have the [opposing] goalie crying by halftime.” — P.J. Kesmodel, who coached then Cathy Nelson at Mount Hebron (Md.) High School
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With a short, slick and deadly finisher named Cathy Nelson among its core of future Division I talent, Hebron dominated while rolling to three straight state titles, starting in her sophomore season in 1992. She capped Hebron’s second straight unbeaten season with 92 goals in 1993, then wrapped up with 78 goals and 43 assists and another crown in 1994.

“Cathy wasn’t overly impressive as an athlete — not that big or super quick. But when you put a lacrosse stick in her hands, she was so skilled and smart. She could not be covered,” Kesmodel says. “What a competitor. One of her goals was to have the [opposing] goalie crying by halftime.”

While Hebron was poised to go on an incredible run — the school would win 15 lacrosse state championships over 16 years — Reese recalled struggling during her senior year with a huge decision. After visiting Maryland, Virginia, Dartmouth, Princeton and William and Mary, she had narrowed her choice to the Terps and UVA.

“I still hadn’t made up my mind by the spring. Recruiting was so different back then,” Reese says. “Maryland was the place I wanted to do go, but what if I wasn’t good enough to play there? How would I handle it, if that didn’t happen?”

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It happened. With Reese in the thick of things, Maryland added to Timchal’s first NCAA title in 1992 by going undefeated back-to-back to win it all in 1995 and 1996, then went a combined 39-4 and took home two more in 1997 and 1998. Three more would follow immediately.

“Cathy wanted to make a difference from the day she got here,” Timchal says. “Her ability to stand up as a leader on and off the field, backed by her obvious ability to play the game exceptionally well, prepared her to be a great coach.”

Former Maryland superstar Jen Adams, a fellow Hall of Famer widely considered the greatest player in the game’s history, spent one year as a Maryland teammate with Reese. She was a senior when Adams was a freshman, having landed in College Park from Australia in January 1998.

It would be a pivotal experience for Adams, who has been linked with Reese ever since. Reese would coach Adams under Timchal, and they would coach together briefly at Maryland.

When Reese accepted her first head coaching job at Denver in 2003, Adams joined her. When Reese replaced Timchal at her alma mater, Adams followed, and would later take over at Loyola. The pair still runs an elite summer camp every year.

“I will never forget walking into the Maryland locker room for the first time, a deer in the headlights,” Adams says. “Cathy’s presence stands out from the moment you meet her. She has always commanded a presence and filled a room. You want to follow her. I don’t know if I’d still be in America if Cathy hadn’t taken me under her wing.

“As a coach, she strikes the perfect balance between making it fun as a player and pushing you very hard to be successful. She’s insanely competitive. If you got on board with her, you knew you were backing a winner. I would have been shocked if she hadn’t become a coach.”

With 302 coaching victories behind her and a Hall of Fame induction shortly ahead, Reese says she is too busy attacking the next day to dwell much on such recognition.

“I learned so much about how to do this job from Cindy and from my time in Denver — recruiting, scheduling, motivating,” Reese says. “The Hall of Fame is huge honor, but when you get into the world of coaching, you don’t take much time for reflection. You’re always working on the next thing.”

The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, a program of US Lacrosse, was established in 1957 to honor men and women who by their deeds as players, coaches, officials and/or contributors, and by the example of their lives, personify the great contribution of lacrosse to our way of life. The Class of 2019 will be officially recognized at the induction ceremony in Hunt Valley, Md., on Saturday, Oct 19. Tickets for the event, sponsored by RPS Bollinger and the Markel Insurance Company, are available at
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The architect of the Maryland women’s lacrosse dynasty headlines the Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
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USA All the Way

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Keeping the Dive Alive

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The Milkman

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Photo Gallery: USA vs. Canada (Women’s U19)

The United States returned the Margaret Boyd Cup to the United States with a 13-3 victory over Canada in the championship game of the 2019 World Lacrosse Women’s U19 World Championship. The victory completed a dominating run through the tournament as the U.S. went 7-0 and never trailed in any of its seven victories. The U.S. has now won five (1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2019) of the seven women’s U19 world championships contested. Photos by Tim Bates.

USA Insider
Tim Bates
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Photos from Team USA’s gold-medal victory over Canada at the U19 women’s championship.

Registration for US Lacrosse West Regional Conference Now Open

Registration for the 2019 US Lacrosse West Regional Conference is now open.

Designed for coaches, officials and league leaders, the event is a great way to learn more about the sport you love and prepare for the upcoming season.

This year’s event will be held in Las Vegas from Nov. 15-17 at the Renaissance Las Vegas.

This is the second consecutive year that US Lacrosse has hosted this event in the West to help increase access to educational resources and to boost networking opportunities for the members of the lacrosse community.

“We had great enthusiasm for the event last year and look forward to providing this opportunity again this year,” said Kim Rogers, director of special events for US Lacrosse. “We’re working hard to make sure this is a valuable and memorable experience for all of our participants.”

Last year’s event featured nearly 350 registered attendees and more than 400 total participants.

The event features a welcome reception, industry leaders providing coaching and officiating tips, tracks for program leaders and rules interpretation sessions at the youth, high school and collegiate levels.

There is also the option to sign up separately for US Lacrosse Level 1, 2 and 3 Coach Development Program (CDP) clinics for both men’s and women’s lacrosse. Those CDP clinics will all be held on Nov. 15.

Through Sept. 24, the cost of registration for the clinic is just $65 for US Lacrosse members. Sign up now to receive the best price.

US Lacrosse West Regional Conference
Learn more about the sport you love and prepare for your upcoming lacrosse season! Early-bird pricing of just $65 for US Lacrosse members is in place until Sept. 24
Register Today

World Champions!

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World Champions! USA U19 Squad Downs Canada to Win Fifth World Title

Quick Recap: U.S. 13, Canada 3

PETERBOROUGH, Ontario — Last August, 36 players were selected from a pool of more than 100 of the nation’s top young women’s lacrosse players to join the 2019 U19 training team.

Megan Carney and Izzy Scane were not among them.

On Saturday, they both wore big smiles and gold medals around their necks after helping the U.S. reclaim the World Lacrosse Women’s U19 World Championship with a 13-3 victory over defending champion Canada.

Carney and Scane were added to the roster after successful fall campaigns at Syracuse and Northwestern, respectively. They made their debut at the Spring Premiere in California in January and quickly became major parts of the team.

In Canada over the last two weeks, they showed their value time and again. Scane tied with Caitlyn Wurzburger for the U.S. lead at the tournament with 21 goals and Carney contributed 20 points, ranking second on the team with nine assists.

“I feel like everything happens for a reason,” said Carney. “Me and Izzy Scane looked at each other before the game and said there’s a reason we’re supposed to be here.”

Brian Logue
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Scane earned Player of the Match honors for the second time at the event, scoring three of the first five U.S. goals of the game, including a huge momentum-swinging goal in transition after Canada had scored back-to-back goals early in the second quarter to pull within a goal of the U.S.

“A dream come true,” Scane said. “If you asked me a year ago today if I’d be here winning a gold medal, I would not say that would be happening after getting cut to getting back on the team to competing against a really, really hard good team.”

Canada provided a quality measuring stick for a U.S. team that was dominant in the tournament. More than eight minutes into the game, neither team had scored with Canada content to sit back in its zone defense.

“Before the game we said we’re going come in and play our normal offense,” Scane said. “It doesn’t matter what their zone is doing. We’re just going to play it how we usually play it and look for the backside. We just tried to stay calm and when the ball got toward the middle we were finishing our shots.”

Leah Holmes, one of the youngest players on the U.S. roster, was the first to break through. The lefthander buried a free position shot from the right wing with 6:12 remaining in the opening quarter.

Scane added another barely over a minute later and Elle Hansen converted a free position opportunity with just 35 seconds left in the opening period.

“We knew we needed to stay calm and we needed to do what our offense allowed,” Hansen said. “We just kept doing what we know best.”

“I feel like everything happens for a reason. Me and Izzy Scane looked at each other before the game and said there’s a reason we’re supposed to be here.” — Megan Carney
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After Canada scored its two goals, Scane took over for the U.S., running through the Canadian defense for a transition goal to make it 4-2. After Bri Gross knocked down consecutive passes, Scane had the ball in transition again. She was fouled and buried a free position shot for a first half hat trick and a 5-2 lead.

Holmes and Hansen added scores before the break to make it 7-2 at the half.

“It was an amazing feeling to get our energy pumping and keep pushing as hard as we could the whole time,” Hansen said. “Having the whole team on our back getting so excited after goals was amazing.”

Canada trailed 7-5 entering the fourth quarter of its semifinal game against England on Thursday, but there would be no second half comeback this time around.

Holmes added her third goal of the game just 41 seconds into the half and then team co-captain Elizabeth Hillman, playing just her second game of the tournament due to a knee injury she suffered the day before the first game, scored. Belle Smith and Carney scored before the third quarter ended to make it 11-2 and there was no getting through the U.S. defense.

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The U.S. backline of Gross, Ally Murphy and Brooklyn Neumen joined Team USA midfielders in pressuring Canada every time it touched the ball, forcing the Canadians out of their planned offense time and again. When they did get opportunities, U.S. goalies Rachel Hall and Madison Doucette were there. The duo, which finished with the top two save percentages in the tournament, combined for six saves.

Canada’s Annabel Child scored with 5:09 left in the game to break a 38-minute scoring drought for the Canadians, but as the clock wound down the U.S. team knew it was ready to celebrate and help erase the memory of the disappointing end to the 2015 tournament when the favored U.S. squad suffered a tough 9-8 loss.

For a young, budding star from Texas that got cut in her initial effort to make the U.S. team, the feeling of being a world champion was overwhelming.

“It hasn’t hit me yet, but when it does it’s an amazing feeling,” Carney said. “I can’t believe this is happening. It’s definitely a dream come true.”

Short Summary: 
A 13-3 win over Canada completed a dominant run for the U.S. women’s U19 team.
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Megan Carney was initially cut from the U.S. U19 team, but was a key contributor to the gold medal effort, scoring 20 points in seven games.
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U.S. co-captains Ally Murphy and Elizabeth Hillman are draped by the American flag after helping the U.S. women’s U19 team win its fifth world championship.

U.S. Wins Women’s U19 World Championship


PETERBOROUGH, Ontario — The world championship is coming back to the United States.

The United States completed a dominant run through the field, culminating with a 13-3 victory over Canada, to win the 2019 World Lacrosse Women’s U19 World Championship.

“I’m just really proud of the team,” said head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. “I think we worked pretty hard this week, all throughout the week, on our defense. I feel pretty good about the way we played.”

Canada, the defending champion after upsetting the U.S. in the 2015 gold medal game in Scotland, used its zone defense to hold the U.S. at bay for the first eight plus minutes of the game until Leah Holmes scored on a free position shot to give the U.S. a. 1-0 lead.

Izzy Scane scored the next goal for the U.S. and then Ellen Hansen scored with just 35 seconds left in the first quarter to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead after one period.

Canada stormed back with two goals in the opening two minutes of the second quarter, but then the U.S. defense took over.

Canada went more than 38 minutes without goal and when Annabel Child’s second goal of the game came with 5:09 left the fourth quarter the U.S. had blown the game open with nine straight goals.

Scane, the Player of the Match, scored the first two goals after Canada had trimmed the lead to one and Holmes and Hansen each scored goals before the half to give the U.S. a 7-2 halftime lead.

Any hopes for a Canada comeback were squashed when Holmes, Elizabeth Hillman and Belle Smith scored goals for the U.S. in the first five minutes of the third quarter.

Holmes finished with a team-high four goals for the U.S. Scane added three and Hansen scored twice. Kasey Choma, Michaela McMahon and Caitlyn Wurzburger all had two assists for the U.S.

Canada did a solid job of neutralizing the U.S. advantage on the draw, but the U.S. still managed a slight edge winning 11 of 20. Maddie Jenner had eight draw controls and Bri Gross had three.

U.S. goalies Madison Doucette and Rachel Hall combined to make six saves in the victory.

Following the tournament, five U.S. players were named to the all-world team: Bri Gross, Rachel Hall, Maddie Jenner, Izzy Scane and Caitlyn Wurzburger.

Final Placement Games

Championship: United States 13, Canada 3
3rd place: Australia 13, England 8
5th place: Japan 12, New Zealand 7
7th place: Wales 9, Germany 8 (OT)
9th place: Puerto Rico 8, Haudenosaunee 7
11th place: Scotland 11, Hong Kong 10
13th place: Czech Republic 13, China 11
15th place: Mexico 11, Korea 7
17th place: Israel 11, Kenya 10
19th place: Ireland 7, Chinese Taipei 5
21st place: Jamaica 8, Belgium 6


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